Indian hockey needs good governance: Somaya

Bangalore: It is not just winning international matches and tournaments, but also good governance that will take Indian hockey to the top, said triple Olympian and former India captain Maneyapanda Somaya.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Karnataka-1000 Rally, sponsored by Bharat Petroleum, here Sunday, Somaya said it mattered little whether the Indian senior team had a local or a foreign coach, but the focus should be on providing world-class training to the juniors.

`I do not think it really matters whether our National team has an Indian or a foreign coach, or for that matter, winning international matches.

`What is of more importance is that our juniors should get world-class coaching and for this, we need people who are in tune with the latest trends in international hockey,` said Somaya when asked whether India should continue with Spaniard Jose Brasa, whose contract is yet to be renewed, or his assistant Harendra Singh who has offered to take up the job.

`Basically, a coach should have two attributes. One, he should have good knowledge of the game as it is played internationally and second, man-management skills.

`But whether it is an Indian or a foreign coach, he should be given a four-year term. I would also say that winning matches is only one aspect, and what is required is good administration,` he said.

Commenting on the current Indian men`s team, Somaya opined that it had certainly improved during Brasa`s tenure and that the players should be persisted with.

`I would say that the team has certainly improved since Brasa took over. Using Saradra Singh (originally a forward) in the sweeper-back position, ball holding and the transfer from defence to attack are the most striking features in my opinion.

`You may or may not agree, but for me, playing Sardara Singh in the deep defence has been a revelation. Give him time and he will surely improve further.

`However, we should persist with the present team and not resort to chopping and changing,` he said.

Bureau Report


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